Govt to discuss ML-1 project financing with China

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The cabinet committee on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) decided to commence financing discussion over ML-1 project with China to finalise its mode and PC-1.
Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, while chairing the committee meeting, said it was a very important project under the CPEC portfolio and the government was committed to fast track it.
He said the CPEC was now entering into the next phase with the incorporation of new additional areas and for the purpose there was a need for an integrated entity in the form of CPEC Authority. The committee decided that the draft act of the authority would be presented to the federal cabinet for approval. The meeting, which was attended by federal ministers Sheikh Rasheed (Railways) and Ali Zaidi (Maritime Affairs), Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile and Industry Abdul Razzak Dawood, Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Dr Jahanzeb Khan and Secretary Planning Zafar Hasan, also reviewed progress of many other projects under the CPEC framework. Secretary planning gave a detailed presentation to the participants on the projects. The committee held detailed discussions on many projects under CPEC in infrastructure, energy and other areas. About the Rashakai Special Economic Zone (SEZ), it was apprised that negotiations on development agreement were in final stages with the CRBC (China Road and Bridge Corporation).
The committee directed to ensure early provision of utilities to the Rashakai SEZ so that its groundbreaking could be performed next month.
The planning minister said the government was committed to provide incentives for the SEZs, including 100 percent repatriation of profits. The committee also decided to present land use plan for the Gwadar Smart Port City to the federal cabinet after incorporating recommendations of the Balochistan government. The Committee also decided to present land use plan for Gwadar Smart Port city to the Federal Cabinet after incorporating recommendations of the Balochistan provincial government. Energy projects, including 300MW Gwadar Coal Power Plant, Kohala Hydropower Project (1,124MW) and Thar Coal projects, and infrastructure projects including Multan-Sukkur Motorway and Orange Line Train project, were also deliberated by the committee. It was apprised that Multan-Sukkur Motorway would be inaugurated soon, while the civil works on Orange Line Train Project would be completed by December this year. The planning minister emphasised that all stakeholders should resolve all pending issues pertaining to the CPEC projects at the earliest to accrue maximum benefits from the forthcoming Joint Cooperation Committee. It was decided to convene the next meeting of the cabinet committee on CPEC in September.

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